After backing the management buyout of Kee Safety in December 2013, we provided strategic support to the management team and helped set the pace of acquisition – as well as identifying international acquisition targets.
Kee Safety serves a large, growing market, where developing health and safety standards around the world create considerable potential for increasing sales. To build a business with the capacity to realise this potential, we’ve helped Kee grow by acquisition.
We recognised the strength of the team and the potential for continued organic growth, as well as a rollout of new sales offices. It became clear this organic growth could be accelerated by a complementary acquisition strategy.
Following our investment, we worked with the business on twelve acquisitions. These were all integrated successfully, enlarging Kee’s international presence. Sales increased accordingly: between 2010 and 2015, the company saw sales growth of more than 100%. This was bolstered by organic growth resulting from regional expansion and new product development.
Helping achieve Kee’s ambitions has been all about our partnership approach – about getting inside the business, to understand as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Chris Milburn, Kee Safety’s CEO, sees the speed at which the relationship developed as crucial: “We hit the decks running within days of completion. This was vital to accelerating our progress and getting ahead of expectation. Right from the start, Dunedin strongly backed our judgement when needed, and that created a strong partnership. The chemistry was right in the team around the board room and there was a lot of personal support and mutual trust”.
Kee Safety is now a well-established, global brand with a wide spread of customers by type, geography and product. Its excellent management team has grown the business through acquisitions and geographic expansion, and by providing excellent service.
In October 2017, we were delighted to announce the sale of the business to Investcorp, valuing it at £280 million. This achieved a return of 3x money invested and a 35% internal rate of return.
Kee Safety's future growth will continue to come from regional expansion in new and existing markets, as well as from increasing product ranges, and introducing new products. The company has a strong platform for future acquisitions, and a significant runway for international expansion.
Chris Milburn, CEO, Kee Safety